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The DeepTree Exhibit: Visualizing the Tree of Life to Facilitate Informal Learning
Dec. 2012 (vol. 18 no. 12)
pp. 2789-2798
J. Diamond, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA
E. M. Evans, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
In this paper, we present the DeepTree exhibit, a multi-user, multi-touch interactive visualization of the Tree of Life. We developed DeepTree to facilitate collaborative learning of evolutionary concepts. We will describe an iterative process in which a team of computer scientists, learning scientists, biologists, and museum curators worked together throughout design, development, and evaluation. We present the importance of designing the interactions and the visualization hand-in-hand in order to facilitate active learning. The outcome of this process is a fractal-based tree layout that reduces visual complexity while being able to capture all life on earth; a custom rendering and navigation engine that prioritizes visual appeal and smooth fly-through; and a multi-user interface that encourages collaborative exploration while offering guided discovery. We present an evaluation showing that the large dataset encouraged free exploration, triggers emotional responses, and facilitates visitor engagement and informal learning.
Index Terms:
user interfaces,biology computing,computer aided instruction,data visualisation,groupware,iterative methods,rendering (computer graphics),collaborative exploration,DeepTree exhibit,Tree of Life visualization,informal learning,multiuser interactive visualization,multitouch interactive visualization,collaborative learning,evolutionary concept,iterative process,active learning,fractal-based tree layout,visual complexity reduction,custom rendering,navigation engine,multiuser interface,Collaboration,Layout,Navigation,Phylogeny,Rendering (computer graphics),Data visualization,Information science,multi-touch interaction,Informal science education,collaborative learning,large tree visualizations
Citation:
F. Block, M. S. Horn, B. C. Phillips, J. Diamond, E. M. Evans, Chia Shen, "The DeepTree Exhibit: Visualizing the Tree of Life to Facilitate Informal Learning," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 2789-2798, Dec. 2012, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2012.272
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